CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes




Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Tips for the upcoming grilling season, it's here!

1. Get that steel brush and clean the grill, brush off all that old gunk.
2. If you have a gas grill, make sure it is maintained, all of the fittings are operable, regulators are working well, knobs are in place etc.
3. Have all of your tongs, forks, spatulas, plates, and other utensils ready to go, if you need to replace them, now is the time to go through your drawers and find what's not working properly and head to your nearest hardware store to replace them. Can't fire up your grill only to find out that your tongs aren't working right.
4. Marinade ingredients should be all fresh, any bottles that look old toss them out and buy some new ones.
5. Coolers, make sure your coolers are clean and sanitized, make sure you have the cooler for your meats only, and don't mix it with your bottled drinks, you don't want blood in the ice and water that will go on top of drinking water bottles, or cans of pop or beer, you don't want anyone getting food poisoning before the food is even cooked.
6. Separate bowls for chicken, beef, pork, fish etc, again do not cross contaminate.
7. Lots of plastic wrap and tin foil on hand, find the good deals at your local market and stock up on them asap.
8. Freezing some meats when the deals are hot. Buy your beef ahead of time, and freeze them air tight with plastic wrap and butcher paper. Same for other foods, like pork and poultry and seafood, buy em early and save money.
9. Get your  apron ready the one that says, "Grilling King" or "Don't F with the Chef"
10. Watch Bobby Flay on the Food Network to get some grilling tips. Nah F Bobby Flay.

This portable Hibachi is great for couples cost about $23.00


Newport Beach, CA Caliente Southwest Grille

Going to Southern Cal this Summer? Going to take the kids to the beach? Going to sample some sunshine, maybe an Angels or Dodgers game? Disneyland? Knottsberry Farm? Whatever the case if you are in OC, and close to the Huntington Beach area, friends of mine did props Caliente Southwest Grille for family eats.

Brother Dave from California stops by Caliente when he takes his kids to the beach, "They have a good breakfast the kids love." What does Brother Dave order for his family when he gets to Caliente? "I order some pancakes, French toast, and order a couple of breakfast burritos and we share it. The Chorizo and egg burrito is good, and drink some coffee, it's a nice place. Then we hit the freeway and head to the beach, it's easy to get to, just take the 55 South and hang a left on 17th street you'll see the sign."  (271 E. 17th Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92627)

* So I went on line and looked at the breakfast menu and here's what it looks like.


Football Slam 4.25
2 eggs any style, choice of bacon or sausage, hashbrowns & choice of toast or tortillas

Caliente Combo 5.25
2 pancakes, 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon or sausage, and potatoes

French Toast Combo 5.25
2 pieces of French toast, 2 eggs and your choice of bacon or sausage

Breakfast Burrito 4.25
A flour tortilla filled with eggs, cheddar cheese, potatoes and salsa roja

Chorizo & Egg Burrito 5.25
Chorizo mixed with scrambled eggs, jack cheese and salsa roja, wrapped in flour tortilla

Steak & Egg Burrito 6.25
Marinated flank steak, scrambled eggs, jack cheese, homemade tomatillo salsa, wrapped in a flour tortilla

Short Stack (2) 3.25
Full Stack (4) 5.25

Eggs 2.00
Bacon 3.00
Sausage 3.00
Potatoes 2.50
Tortillas, corn or flour 2.00

Phone: 949-515-0909  Hours M-F10A-9P SAT 9A-9P SUN 10A-9P

Okay so Dave gave me the scoops if I'm ever back in the OC area, it's going to be some time before I get there, plane tickets aren't cheap, and my Dodgers suck, so Cali is out of the question for some time. Though the last trip down there we did have a good time. I dig Southern Cal, lots of fun and good food, well, I'll have to check this place out and see for myself.

MAUI- A Request for Sari Sari

Sari Sari personally I've never ever made it, so one day I got an email from one of my dear fans, Aunty Mona from south side. In her email, she wanted a Sari Sari recipe, but what is that? I've never made it, nor do I think I ate it. So I start to ponder..."Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm." You know real long like that. "Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm." You get the pic? So I ask some friends, "Hey what's Sari Sari?" They respond with, "Who knows bra, but is the harbors breaking today?" So my friends, they're going surfing, they could care less about Sari Sari.

But Wait! Hey I'm employed at Barnes and Noble part-time. Okay, I bet Jean Hee has it. Jean Hee is my favorite local cookbook author second to none. And sure enough, I picked up her book called Jean Hee's Best of The Best Hawaii Recipes 14.95 smack right there on page 75 is a recipe for Sari Sari. Now since this is a copyrighted material, I am stating that right here right now. This material is copyrighted 2007 by Mutual Publishing, LLC ISBN 10 1 56647 842 1 ISBN 13 978 1 56647 842 7. So I am writing this only to share with you and not make any profits from this article. This is to share with you one of Jean's recipes from her book.

Sari Sari
Yeild: 4-5 servings

1/2 pound Chinese roast pork
1 Tablespoon oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 round onion wedged
1 tomato, wedged
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 cup water or chicken broth
2 long-type eggplants, halved lengthwise and cut in 1-inch slices
1/2 pound string beans, cut into thirds
1 long squash, peeled, cut into chunks (or 1/2 pumpkin)

Heat oil in a pot. Brown garlic, onion,  and tomato. Add pork, season with salt, and cook 5 minutes. Add water or chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add vegetables, cover and cook until vegetables are tender.

Variation: Substitute pork with 18 medium-size shrimp (31-40 count), peeled and cleaned. Add shrimp when squash is almost done.

Wow! That's seems simple, hope aunty on the south side can get this one.

So if you want some great local Hawaii recipes, Jean Hee's book is great, I flipped through the pages, and my mouth started to water!

Go to your nearest Barnes & Noble and get a copy, it's close to all of the Hawaiian regional cookbooks. If you want to possibly start a fund raiser and looking for recipes, this book can give you lots of ideas. Remember, cookbooks are great but try and tweaking some of the ingredients to make it your own. But if you follow this book to the T you won't be disappointed.

Monday, May 30, 2011

MAUI- What Pisses Off A Waiter/Waitress?

What Pisses Off Waiters/Waitresses? The number one pisser offer for men and women who serve for a living is? (Drum Roll).... It's the asswipe that doesn't tip at all, well, if you're a lousy waiter/waitress, you don't deserve a penny, and I mean it considerably. I myself have been stereotyped in a place called Kimo's in Lahaina a long time ago. Well, for one, I'm Filipino born here on Maui, and my date at the time was a cool blonde from California. The waiters? They were all tall in shape looking surfers, blonde to be exact, and the hostess was kind of rude, I mean we both were dressed for the occasion, we did not look like slobs. But to make this clear, you don't judge a book by its cover, and I guess those employees at the time thought I was some low income local that stole the clothes and the girl, and wouldn't tip them out after we ate. How wrong were they? Big time wrong because I had a lot of cash in my pocket, and was going to order the best for me and my chick friend. So to put it on fast-track, we split. And oh yeah, I did have a reservation, but for some God only knows reason, our 7 pm got to be 8pm and beyond, seriously, they said we could wait at the bar, so we waited, and waited until I finally said F this shit! I didn't even tip the bartender even though it wasn't his fault. I just felt a bit degraded, and above all disrespected in my own town, it was an embarrassment for myself after telling Debbie that Kimo's ruled and it was right on the water you know? How do you think I felt? Pretty lame I must say.

So this is how waiters/waitresses/hostesses and bartenders can't get a tip, if it's the customer is pissed to begin with. You want a tip, you have to give a hundred percent night in night out, whatever shifts you got. But a lot of waiters and waitresses do give it a hundred percent, and if the bozos eating at their tables don't bother leaving a dime, it can really get a staff member bloody peed. All of the professionals in the front of the house should understand that some people will just not tip, again, it's hard when they're trying to pay the bills, and the tips from credit cards are automatically logged down for the tax collectors.

What waiters/waitresses really want is cash tips, that way they have it right then and there, on the spot to divvy up with the bussers, and kitchen staff. But not getting a tip for doing an honest hard working job on some bozos is really the shits in a shitty way.

I've waited tables and there's no worse feeling than being left a zero tip. I figured this out, and if you are a waiter/waitress follow me on this. When dealing with bozos, just don't expect a tip, just let that go, maybe spit in the asswipe's water or something I don't know, I figure you can get creative on this. But here is where I made bank. You see, as a restaurant employee, I went to other restaurants to eat and drink and made friends that worked there, like other bartenders, waiters etc. When I go to their digs and if their service was great, I'd drop more than the measly 15%. So when they came to my section, I buffed them out real good, even paying for some of their drinks and appetizers, what I lost in that, I made up for in their gratuity. Seriously. Let's say there was 4 happy waitresses from another dig and they sat at my table. I'd buy their first round, that's about 12 bucks. Then I slide them some won tons and some shrimp for their pupus and that's another 12 bucks. So I'm down 24 bucks right there. But by the time they're all sauced and their bill is like 70 bucks with more drinks and food that they ordered. And waitresses on free fun time is the best because they know that my job is hard, and if I gave them the A game, guess what? My tip was gonna be huge! It wasn't uncommon for me to rake in at least 80 bucks cash, that's 20 each from that one table. So 80 less 24 is 56 bucks cash. I made my cost for the first round and two trays of appetizers and then some, you get the picture?

Here's another tip for you aspiring waiters/waitresses, always wipe something if it's slow, it shows cleanliness, it shows you're a professional, and that the flatware and glasses are spotless because of you. Seriously guys, if not getting big tips is pissin you off these days, you may try some of these tips. When you have an important looking customer, say he's a local businessman, he's in the newspapers, introduce yourself to him, usually these people understand hard work and profits, so when they see you giving it an ass kicking they'll notice you for sure. Offer them extra bread, pay for it. Offer them a glass of wine, and pay for it, say it's on the house, tell them, "Hey Mr. So and So, I saw you donate 10,000.00 dollars to the local school, man my kid goes there, thanks a lot, my name is Ron." He no doubt will feel appreciated, because business people are well, people too. Get to know them, call them by their last names first until they tell you not to. Mr. Jones or Mrs. Wong, never by their first names first. I tell you what if I was a businessman with lots of money, and saw a waiter be professional, and showed he recognized what I did, I'd leave that waiter a nice hefty tip, cash if I had it or more than the standard on the credit card tab.

Giving more of yourselves as a waiter/waitress will get you more in the long run, if you're always thinking "give me a tip" without really working hard for it, you'll never get a good tip. This guy I know is an old waiter, been around a long time. He always treats every table like they're VIPs, but he also gets pissed when bozos don't tip. Yeah it's like shooting craps, sometimes you just roll snake eyes and it hurts!


MAUI- Fresh Fish

I know that fresh fish tastes better than frozen or canned fish, that's automatic. Fresh fruits taste better than canned fruit or frozen fruits as well. So when it comes to fresh fish, what do you look for? When buying fish look into its eyes, if it's cloudy or merky the fish may be old, and also if it is slimy that is a good indicator that the fish is not so fresh.

Whenever fishermen have any kind of fresh catch, the fish is iced down immediately to preserve the texture of the meat, the clarity will deminish if it is warm, the cold of ice keeps the meat fresh and sweet. Markets open early in the morning, fresh catch are auctioned off, the bidders that win take their prize and try to make a handsome profit. Most restaurants on Maui sell frozen Mahi and frozen Ono, no joke, no lies, this is real. Most chefs are well trained to take that frozen Mahi from the South Pacific and turn it into a nice meal, and yes, that chalk board advertising Fresh Mahi is probably fiction to the max.

But some restaurants won't sell anything but fresh catch, if they don't have a particular species to sell fresh, then it's off of the boards. Some chefs have reputations that they don't want corrupted, I mean you cannot fool real fish afficionados. Like D.K. Kodama once told me, "You can't fool real sushi eaters, you try they'll kill you."

How can you be sure that the fine restaurant you'll take your wife to isn't selling frozen fish? The best thing to do is talk to people first, talk to foodies, they'll tell you right away that Joe's is selling frozen GMO fish. I mean, foodies take care of foodies, you want good quality fish that is Hawaiian fresh, do some research, because I'm telling you, even some excellent restaurants will try and slide you frozen fish. But if the chef made it into a work of art, what's the big deal?

Friday, May 27, 2011


 A SAIGON CAFE (JENNIFER'S) In Wailuku IZ DA BEST Vietnamese Food. Seriously folks, what comes to mind when you think of Vietnamese food? Do you think of snakes in the jungle? Do you think of eating insects? Well if you want to know, Vietnamese food has some French influence to it, some anyway. But in general Vietnamese foods is relative to many Asian cuisines. The chefs utilize a lot of vegetables, mainly lots of green leafy ones. Fish sauce is used on many dishes. They utilize different cooking methods, they do steaming, frying, sauteeing, all of that.

Well, on Thursday May 26, 2011 it was a nice sunny day, my brother Harold, who is the real chef in the family (I pale in comparison to him behind the stove), and my friend Kelsey just had massages, and it was totally wonderful. I just had a neck massage, my brother had his shoulders done, and Kelsey of course being the chick had the full service. Girls get the better deal don't they?

So after the massages, Chef Harold took us out for lunch, and the food was Vietnamese, just down from his condo, we trekked to A Saigon Cafe (Jennifer's). And we ate some cool clean but filling food.

We had a Papaya Salad with Shrimp, it was kind of on the sweet and sour side very good, the papayas were green and shredded into thin strips. And we had some Lettuce Wraps with the fish sauce dip. And we had Fried Shrimp Salad, and we had the Beef Wraps which was very tasty, it was seasoned beef, wrapped with lettuce and other veggies, with some hot sauce and then wrapped with a rice wrapper dipped in nuoc mam fish sauce. It was awesome, all three of us stayed off of the rice. We were all watching our waiste lines ha ha. Whatever that means I have a hard time tying my shoes right now.

Chef Harold seriously contemplating what to order

Notice how he ponders what combinations to order, afterall being a chef, he understands what to order. He even took into consideration if Kelsey had any allergies, which she did have, she is allergic to peanuts, so when the waiter came to take the order, peanuts was off the ingredients list. Now if I was ordering... maybe Kelsey would be in the ER. :((((

Kelsey happy after a massage and holding a drink

Kelsey learning to wrap

Beef ready to wrap

Beef wrap my style

Bitten Beef Wrap Bitten by me

Papaya Salad w. Shrimp

Fried Shrimp Salad
All of the dishes had a hint of mint or basil, that's what Vietnamese foods are hinted with, so if you've never had Vietnamese, you should give it a go.

A Saigon Cafe (Jennifer's)
10 am to 9:30 pm Daily
Location: Wailuku Town, look for the bridge, it is right below, ask a local how to get their or use your google map.
PH:808-243-9560 Credits Cards Yes

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

JAMES KUDLICH a.k.a "J.K. Recreational Foodie" He's going around town and delving in everyday grines. That's right J.K. Recreational Foodie sampled L&L's Chicken Katsu Plate today, as I filmed him for our project. James did a great job, and now it's time for us to edit this stuff and see what we come up with. James is a foodie that loves food, why else would he be called a foodie? In the first photo we see J.K. tired and can't eat anymore he is stuffed!

In this photo J.K. says "This is the way Katsu should be, nice and crispy on the outside, the panko flakes are golden but not soggy like some plates." Yes J.K. is a plate lunch afficionado for sure.
"Whenever I eat a plate lunch, it has to be perfect, the main dish, the rice has to be just right, not too sticky, and not too dry. And the macaroni salad should be simple, just macaroni. salt and pepper, and mayo."

J.K. devoured this plate, he was enjoying every bite, every bit of the crumbs from the panko flakes. He was into it like B.J. Penn in the octagon. Like Le Bron going for a dunk, like Kyle Bush racing... ah you get the idea right?

J.K. is all smiles, he is blessed to take a swing at a plate like this from L&L's, you can see it in
his eyes, that plate has got nothin on J.K., the Recreational Foodie, no chance, he's gonna polish that  plate in no time folks!
"Watch out if you got chicken coops around my hood, you might not have any chickens if I'm around, I may turn your chickens into chicken katsu," says J.K. with an evil grin. "Ha ha."


Savoring the moment, J.K. is excellent with the chopsticks, although a fork and spoon would do just right. J.K. tells us, "Yeah, chopsticks work well if the rice is just sticky enough."

J.K. sits and enjoys the sites and sounds inside the Lahaina Cannery Mall where L&L is located, he loves the cool air conditioning. "Got to love this place, it's cool, and I can get comfortable eating a large plate." Well of course you gotta be comfy man!

"A nice cold can of Coke hits the spot when eating a massive plate," says J.K. "You can keep all that organic juices, I'll drink a Coke thank you." J.K. is your all-American recreational foodie, he loves simple foods, grill and bar stuff, plate lunch stuff, hot dog and burger joints. Yes, if you happen to be in Lahaina on vacation and see J.K. tell em hi, and go eat lunch together, he'll show you how it's done.

J.K. talks about the katsu sauce, "If you don't have katsu sauce, just use ketchup, soy sauce, and some steak sauce, it'll work well as a substitute."

Did you read that? Did you feel it? How awesome is J.K. offering you foodies some great advice. I'm telling you folks in foodie land, this man is just the man to showcase how eating is done, the man works hard at eating right. Well, right eating is only an opinion, so let's respect his opine shall we?

After this gig, we left the mall, J.K. full to the brim, and came down with some Hawaiian Style parylysis, which happens to the best of any man, eat a huge ass plate and then get tired, and then he'll have to rest. Eating and resting folks, that's what it's all about. Why stress? Why clean the house when you can devour a huge ass plate, and then go to sleep somewhere. J.K. was done eating, and he found a nice tree to sleep under, what a freeking life this man has. He shows up to get video taped to eat food! Wow! What a life I say, what a life!

James or should I say J.K. Recreational Foodie is full in this last picture of him. If anyone had a wheel chair, J.K. is sure to be there hitching a ride.  After that plate, he was not able to run across the highway.

So what is the moral of this article? Just enjoy simple recreational foods. Why get so serious with food right?
"I don't, screw that, I love to just have fun, then eat, then have fun and then eat, and then sleep."

You said it big man, you said it all with compassion, with regard to the everyday man, the man that says "Screw this, I just want to eat, and then go to sleep!" Yes J.K. you are the man. You are the man, that can no doubt put some serious plates away. Simply a fierce person when it comes to standing in line at a local food dig, you see him comin, you best be a movin yes sir, get out of his way. WARNING! DO NOT ATTEMPT TO EAT A LOT AND THEN GO TO SLEEP LEAVE THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOR TO EXPERTS IN THE FIELD SUCH AS "J.K. RECREATIONAL FOODIE"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MAUI- Chef Mark Ellman & wife Judy Hosts Video Taping

This video taping of Chef Mark & Wife Judy was... DA BOMB! While some chefs come home and put their feet on the coffee table, and nail a greasy burger from another fast food joint, and then take their 12 pack of Bud and drown their sorrows, even if they're great chefs, we all know most of these guys have a beer gut, bad tude, and or ego that makes you wanna flat the dude's tires in the parking lot... Beware because not all chefs are self destructive. Enter...Chef Mark Ellman and wife Judy. Ah... healthy food, no booze but only on occasion, lots of love, family, yoga? Are you kidding me? I thought most chefs just went birzerk with the booze and other things... well then, was I wrong? Not necessarily, I knew that Mark ate well, he did most of the time, I'd see him shopping and he was very selective, no Portuguese Sausage or Spam in his shopping cart.

The date, May 23rd on a Monday evening, Puamana, the sun slowly sets into the Pacific close to the island of Lanai. Me, I'm there on an assignment to video tape Chef cooking some awesome food, which I got to not only to sample but eat the whole thing! Yeah yeah man, no lies, this was like a dinner that would have cost me maybe close to 30 bucks if I ate it someplace in a dig where waitresses and waiters were dressed well enough to go to a wedding or funeral, or the ball.

So what did Chef Mark create? How about this, a Flour less Chocolate Torte with homemade whipped cream, and a killer, awesome Asian Seafood Pasta. Man it was great. We shot the Flour less Chocolate Torte first. Mark had his double boiler going on, with some chocolate being slowly melted, then the butter, then the egg yolks, then he starts to beat the egg whites with some sugar, then he starts to fold it all together and then into buttered cups with sugar in it, to as he says, "Create a Teflon pan using food, so the torte doesn't stick to it when it starts to bake for about 14 minutes in his convection oven. Yeah Mark has his kitchen down, designed with the right equipment, very user friendly folks, room to walk around, even the dishwasher is quiet, now when the dishwasher is quiet, you got yourself a custom kitchen.

But then Mark starts to do his Asian Seafood Pasta, using egg noodles, he boils them until just right, he makes the pasta sauce with garlic, ginger, fermented black beans, parsley, some other herbs, mushrooms, just to name a few, and then his tomato sauce that is cooked for 5 hours, this sauce is the same sauce that is used in his Mala Ocean Tavern, one of the hottest restaurants on the island, both in Wailea, and in Mala in Lahaina. Then he's got the seafood, fresh clams, huge shrimp, and scallops. As he finishes the sauce, he plucks out a clam that doesn't open, "Just remove the clams that don't open, not good for you." He tosses it out, maybe some ferrel cat will claw it open, cats have tougher stomachs than we do, imagine us humans having tough stomachs, the world wouldn't go hungry.

When the seafood was all in concert with the sauce and it was simmering, you could smell it, you could actually taste the sauce by the  aroma, and whenever you can get that aroma into your system and you start to crave it, man you know that first bite is gonna be awesome. So Judy pours me a glass of white wine, that was after a bottle of beer that Mark got to me as I was running the SONY bigboy. Man what a gig, free food, and not only any free food, it was food at the Ellman's, wow, what a treat to da max bro!

So the cooking and filming is pau (done), we all sit together, sorry we didn't say a prayer, but I thanked God on the way home, we were busy talking story about other restaurants, other chefs, their new venture HONU, which will be opening in June 2011, that's just a few weeks away. Mark is stoked about Honu, which will be really interesting. Can't say more about it, will do later, but believe me, nothing like it ever on this side of Maui. Honu just remember that, it's right next to Mala Ocean Tavern close to Safeway. And like Mala, it's right on the ocean's edge, very Lahaina and laid back. I'll say this, they'll have pizza. Nuff sed. But it's the kind of pizza and how it's made... nuff sed.

So we are eating, laughing, and enjoying the stories, and the food. Mark emphasized the Flour less Chocolate Torte was gluten free, and that would be a great dessert for someone with celiac disease, or allergic to wheat. When he was making it, one tip was to fold the beaten eggs and the chocolate together, not stir it up, you want to keep that mixture airy and fluffy.

All in all, it was like a personalized cooking lesson, which it actually was. The company was nice, so what more can a dude with a big ass SONY video camera can ask for? Maybe a million bucks, but I don't think Mark and Judy would loan that to me because my credit score is like negative 100 ha ha. Mark and Judy Ellman rules the school when it comes to food, family, and friends. Check them out at Honu when they're open, I really really believe this is going to be such a hit, the concept is right on. It will be NO KA OI.
Mark and Judy

Mark plating Asian Seafood Pasta

Mark manning his station

The main dish

Me & Chef Mark

Me & Judy

Monday, May 23, 2011

MAUI- Anti-Cancerous Foods

Anti-Cancerous Foods to eat includes fibrous vegetables such as items related to the cabbage family, such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, kale, chard, Bok Choy, Napa Cabbage, and many other dark greens.

Our bodies are constantly in the midst of chemicals, in the water, in the air, in the soil, everywhere, and some of these chemicals are so destructive to our bodies, what can we do to prevent illness such as cancer? Cancer is a very brutal killer. I can think of too many people in my life that died from cancer, and family members who did battle cancer and survive, including myself.

In 1991 one of my favorite drummers in the rock band KISS died of heart cancer, Eric Carr was only 41 when he died, a gifted musician, and according to his family was one of the kindest persons around. Why did I mention Eric Carr? Because I love rock music and used to play the drums, so his life kind of intrigued me. Heart cancer of all things, what a dangerous organ to have a cyst. Eric had heart surgery, but apparently some of the cancer spread to his brain and he succumbed to it, and lost his life. What could have Eric done to prevent cancer? What could anyone do to prevent it?

According to many experts in the health and medical industry who broke away from the medical status quo, eating whole foods and eliminating lots of artificial additives can help to prevent cancer growth in our bodies. 

What causes cancer? I'll just list one artificial additive that causes cancer in lab rats, and because the study in Europe was conclusive, that this dye called Red 2G (aka E128) did give rats and mice cancerous tumors, it is of great concern that human beings are being sold these additives in the form of processed meats such as hot dogs, sausage, and even in drinks to give the products a nice fresh appearance. What causes cancer in rats and mice, can cause cancer in people.

Ian Tokelove of the pressure group the Food Commission, says that there is no need for this dye in foods to make it look fresher or appealing to the eye. "The dye is there to just disguise foods."

Many people including medical professionals are very skeptical in eating any processed foods containing Red 2G.

The best thing anyone can do is to stay away from any and all man made food ingredients says one health professional here on Maui who's wish is to remain anonymous. "I never eat any hot dogs or sausage with Red 2G, or any drinks or any product period that contains that. I've seen many people here on Maui die of cancer, and when I talked to them to find out what they have been eating, a lot of them ate a lot of processed foods, containing artificial dyes."

Another person who wished to remain unannounced said this in a recent talk, "For God to make man as a temple, to be a holy structure, to live clean and uncorrupted, ingesting this vicious cancer causing additive is a definite sin, I'm not religious, but if our bodies are temples, why offer our temples garbage? I ask you that, why?"

Harue sits at a local health food restaurant here on Maui, we sit and drink organic coffee, she  sweetens hers with organic agave nectar, and she uses organic cream, I do the same. She tells me that her diet is not one hundred percent vegan or vegetarian, that at times she does eat a free range chicken breast, or some local Ahi sashimi. She eats lots of cruciferous or vegetables from the cabbage family.

"The cancer preventing properties in cruciferous include isothiocynates, these things in simple terms breaks down carcinogens, that can cause cancer, so I eat a lot of foods from the cabbage family."

So in a very short concise lesson, stay away from Red 2G food colorings, and other man made additives in your food. Try to prevent it as best you can. Sure we have friends that smoke 2 packs a day and still live to be a hundred without getting lung cancer, just call them lucky, because I know a few people who developed lung cancer and doctors concluded it was the cigarettes that caused it. So stay off of stuff that are know to cause cancer, it is for your own good.

Steam your cruciferous and use organic dressings for it, good eat and live life to the fullest.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

MAUI- Food Prices We Do Pay

"Are you crazy that much?!!!!" This is what most visitors exclaim when they see some of our food prices in our supermarkets, even with some specials, it seems rather expensive to them. Here is some prices for the most common of food items one may pick up at a supermarket here on Maui, get ready folks if U R from other parts... say the U.S. mainland.

Date: Sunday, May 22, 2011.* These are Sunday Special Prices

Lion Coffee 10 oz. 4.99
Pepsi 12 pck 12 oz. 3.99
20 lb. bag of white extra fancy premier rice 10.99
Ketel One Vodka 750 ML 80 proof 18.99
Crown Royal Black Canadian Whisky 750 ML 90 proof 24.99
Redondo's Hawaiian Winners 10 pack hot dogs 2/5.00
Di Giorno 12 in. Pizza 2/12.00
Kraft Mayonnaise 30 oz. 3.99
Kraft Salad Dressing 2/6.00
Sea Alaska Canned Salmon 7.5 oz. 1.39
Del Monte canned veggies 5/4.00

This kind of gives you an idea of what prices are like in general, without specials, add on a few cents or dollars.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

MAUI- Chefs Continue to Open For Biz

Chefs are continuing to open new restaurants, eateries, digs, whatever you wanna call it, Maui's business/foodie savvies are moving on forward despite concerns of oil prices soaring, markets crashing, blah blah blah blah blah!

Are you a crazy business person for opening up a restaurant on Maui where rents are high? It depends on who you talk to. A friend of mine is thinking of opening up a restaurant, he doesn't want his name to be used, so I'll call him Joe. Joe has been in the restaurant biz for a long time, he's in his late 50s, married with kids ready for college, he's been blessed in that he never once in his life was unemployed like some of his friends are.

Joe wants to open up a local plate lunch eatery, complete with a bar and tv screens for watching the big game. But Joe has some issues with the current economy. "I have some of the money, and I have a few silent partners with money, so that is not the object really, but we really want to succeed, but what if we go dipping further into a bad recession or depression?" His sentiments are understood by many possible business people that want to open any kind of a food service operation.

"Like I said, I have the money to start what I want, my wife and I know exactly what kind of food we want to sell to the people here on Maui, and that is what we locals want to eat. I want to have a little of that L&L concept, and a little of what John McKivor and Harold Sambrano's concept that they had in the Honokowai Okazu Ya and Deli, a cross between fully local plates with a upper end twist. And a little bit of the Sports Page and Mooses concept. A fun family oriented place to eat and watch or play some games, and maybe some music at some point."

But the only thing that is holding Joe back is his fear of the economy, despite having the funds for the business, he is skeptical of the future, if his business tanks, he may lose the house which is almost paid for. "That's what I worry for, what if it tanks? Me and my wife won't have a home, that's for certain. I think for us, playing it safe is the right play for now, I am working, my wife is working, we do have medical for us and the kids as of now. But then again, that business is always on my mind, my dream. I have never been in business of my own before. I had to talk to many people who do this type of thing, my friends who are chefs and own their own place, that's the places I get my education. My wife knows how to do accounting, so that's a match."

Joe says he'll wait it out for a while, that there's no rush, and his silent partners with money will still back him when it is ready, so that's a great sign for Joe, it's really his call, he's the general in command, when he says "go" that's when he starts to get contracts signed for leases etc. and vendors and all that good stuff, the headaches of the business as he says, but he really wants to get it going and be his own boss, and knowing that the menu will be his baby is what makes him drool. "I guess it's a chef's ego," he laughs. "But if God says 'Joe, no more bad economy from now until the end of time' I'd be on it right now."

And the owners of Teddy's Bigger Burgers just opened in the Lahaina Gateway, talk about having some balls, they are opened and in business, and the place is packed during lunch, hopefully for them, they'll be fine during any dips in the economy.

Mark Ellman has a new eatery opening up, stay tuned for that, it is being set up as I write, just talked to his sister the other day, she talked about Avalon, Mark's establishment back in the day and how he progressed from that to the Maui Tacos franchise, to Penne Pasta and Mala Ocean Tavern, and now this new one being set up. She said it is going to rock. So far I have no reason to doubt her, all of Mark's businesses have been gold. In fact this Monday I'm working with him on his video project, he'll be making some healthy food in his home, should be a good shoot.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

MAUI- Our Cooking Show LICK em UP, Special Guest Brian Kohne

Today we filmed our cooking show called Lick em Up in Lahaina Maui, our special guest was Brian Kohne, film producer/director/writer of Get A Job, a film about people and situations on Maui, I do suggest you seek that movie if you are looking for anything local.

The dish I prepared for Brian was a seasoned sirloin beef steak with a rum and brandy and cream dressing. (It did not flambe, the bottle was weak), anyhow, that was feathered over some sauteed, Asian greens, bok choy, Napa cabbage, onions, scallions, yellow squash, orange bell peppers, the sauce was soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sugar, scallions. Turned out okay, except the fact that the brandy did not ignite, made for comedy at the least.
L- Brian Kohne R- Director/Cameraman/Danny Agdeppa

L- Brian Kohne, R- Yours Truly Ron Sambrano

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

LAHAINA MAUI- Teddy's Bigger Burgers

Teddy's Bigger Burgers Much Better Than the Fast Food Burgers! Here it is, the newest burger joint to invade the Valley Isle, oh that's Maui for you peeps that are unfamiliar with the island's monicker. Teddy's Bigger Burgers located in my hood, at the Lahaina Gateway Shopping Mall, right next to Genki Sushi, is really a good burger joint, I'd say much better than the fast food giant's burger for sure. But if you can't afford a burger combo that is priced around 10.00, then you should go and get Mickey D's 1.00 menu.

Here's the story leading up to me experiencing Teddy's, it was about October or November in 2010, I was walking to Lahaina Foodland Farms, and in a vacant space I noticed a sign that said, "Coming Soon Teddy's Bigger Burgers" and there was a juicy picture of a double cheese burger, it looked so good, I could taste it. Then I called my friend Pete who knows a lot of the food service professionals from mom and pops to high end restaurants in Hawaii, Pete's profession is he sells and sets up professional kitchens for a living, let's just say Pete knows his shit, about food, about how to run a restaurant, and everything else about food. So I says to Pete, "Hey Pete, how's this Teddy's place?"

"It's really good Ron," he says. He's driving on the H1 freeway in Honolulu by the way, his Blue Tooth has some hissing sound.

"Okay, because I see a sign that says Teddy's is going to open up in Lahaina some time next year."

"They have good burgers, the ones in Oahu is excellent, some of the best burgers I've ever had from an over the counter kind of dig."

"Oh really... man that picture of the double burger looks wicked."

"It is, I think you guys on Maui will like it, I think they'll do well."

"Orite, thanks Pete."

Fast forward to today, I walk inside and can't wait to eat one. But several peeps had told me that they will never go back to Teddy's because the burgers though good, they felt that it was not great like everyone on Oahu said it was. Well, I'll have to see for myself.

I stand in line, and look at the menu, I do not want chicken, I want beef. So I settled for the Number 2 combo, the original 7 oz patty, on some soft buns, with their sauce, and lettuce, tomato, and onion, and pickle, fries and a medium drink. With a discount it came out to 9.50, not bad, it's like three bucks more than a Double Quarter w. Cheese meal at Mc Donald's. And the burgers tasted fresher like homemade. The fries was nicely cooked, golden and tasty.

So this is how it went, I ordered, got my cup for my drink, and my change, and they handed me some stuff that looked like a coaster, but it's not. It's this electronic device that buzzes when your oreder is ready. Cool, instead of the counter person yellin your name or a number order, you hold this gadget, and when the cooks have your order ready, the thing of majig vibrates. So after about 10 minutes of sipping my Coke and watching other foodies devour their burgers, my device starts to vibrate wildly. Okay, I'm at the counter, I get my food and sit back down.

I picked up the burger, I look at it, it smells really good, just the way ground beef patties should sittig in between two soft buns. I squeeze it, and man the juices start to ooze out. Can't wait. I slowly take a bite into this 7 oz. beauty. Yes, not overcooked, kind of pink, just the way I like my burger, a little pink. I savor the moment, the sauce is good, the burger tastes good, the lettuce is crisp, great. It's perfect. I bite into some of the golden fries, and it's great too. Then I sip my Coke, man this is good stuff. Okay, I have to admit, I think Cool Cat's in the Wharf is better, but, this place does do good burgers, it's way better than the Golden Arches, or Burger King, or Jack in a Crack. For sure, by miles! My burger had cheddar on it.

Would I go back there again? I would, I definitely would, despite some of my foodie friends saying that they'll not go back because they thought the burgers sucked, well, that's their opinion. Mines? I'll go back for certain, as soon as I get another tip at work that can cover another combo at Teddy's, I'll be back. I mean, yeah, we all had tastier burgers at a cookout, or in your own home because we can season it with what we want, but listen here, Teddy's has to make their burgers the way they do, it's a neutral but good beef taste, but it's not seasoned with all kinds of seasoned salts, and powders you know? If they did that they would turn off lots of people. The burgers is good, I'd spend a few more dollars at Teddy's than buy a Mc Donald's No. 3 any day. Here's my take on their burgers, it tastes like a burger okay? If you are looking for a seasoned to the max burger, then don't go to Teddy's, stay home and grill your own with Lawry's. The burgers do taste like what it's supposed to, and that is beef. It does taste like beef, and that's good nuff fo me. It ain't that salty, and that's great for people with hypertension, there's salt on the condiment counter if you want more salt, so that's it, it's a good burger folks, go check it out. If I can see the place packed with peeps devouring theirs, then it's gotta be good.

The No. 2 Original Combo, 7 oz. beef burger w/ fries and Coke

After my first bite, I'm in Burger Heaven! I like it pink and juicy

My empty Coke cup

At Lahaina Gateway they're open from 10am to 9pm, give them a try

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

MAUI- Chefs/Cooks Handling Criticism

Handling Criticism isn't easy sometimes, but we all have to deal with it, especially if we're cooking for others. Sometimes we're multi-tasking, and will not make that poached egg just the way your aunt wants it. Or maybe we have something on our minds, and that t-bone steak was just a little too long on the grill for Uncle Ralph's medium-rare. Or our sauces maybe too thin for some of our true foodies. But remember this, that tastes, palates, and all that are opinions, not everyone will like someones pasta, not everyone is going to like someones roasted turkey. Just remember, to do the best job you can. We can't please everyone we invite. Not all of us are trained to cook a variety of different styles. Don't compare yourself with your sister who went to culinary school. Don't compare yourself with your cousin who hunts his own game and is a master at the grill.

Lately I've been really thinking about what food and people really mean. And what that means is to share a meal, not complain if the herbs and spices aren't to our specifications, but to be humble and thankful that we get a meal. Sometimes we foodies are so critical because that's what we do, that's our passion, that's our thing. But no, the real thing is that matters most if we get to cook for someone or are invited to eat with someone, it has to be heart felt. We must be honest and try to cook the best we can for others offering them the best meal experience and company. And to be thankful that we are invited to someones home for a meal.

Having to be polite and kind in these circumstances is important, being to critical in times of an invite, well really there's no place for that. Maybe if we are judging a cookoff or something then we can be, or if we paid a good dollar at a nice bistro and the food was bad, then being critical is only natural. Just remember this, just be thankful for having someone offering their cookings to us, and do the best we can if cooking for others.

We are only human, we'll do good, and we'll do bad, but that shouldn't stop us from being happy and joyful. So what if the turkey isn't flavored right by some of your friends, your response should be, "Well I guess you can help yourselves to the salt and pepper and those condiments there on the rack." Just don't get upset if someone gets too critical on your cooking. Just smile, if someone gets on you for a bad meal, just tell them, "Well thanks for your input, next time I won't invite you." No just kidding, handling constructive criticism is good, someone may offer you really valuable advice on that sauce that maybe too thin, or that pasta that just misses something. Just listen to it, maybe you may learn something, maybe not. Just listen, smile if there's nothing valubale for you.

Keep cooking, do the best you can. Practice makes perfect, take a cooking class, learn from your friends who make that awesome potroast, learn from your friend that rolls sushi and is a great party host. Learning never stops, so keep an open mind, don't be discouraged. Keep cooking, don't stop. Don't quit.

I love you guys.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MAUI- James Kudlich Samples Fu Lin Chinese Restaurant

James Kudlich Samples Fu Lin Chinese Restaurant's 1/2 Roast Duck in Lahaina.
By Ron Sambrano Producer.

It was a warm day in Lahaina, the breeze was blowing right smack in Mala district in Lahaina, Maui, 3 O'clock in the afternoon, and me and the next Food Star is at Fu Lin's to sample their Roast Duck, half a duck that is, yours truly was on an assignment, I had to man the camera and note pad, too bad my video camera wasn't working, the battery was dead. Oh well, here we go. The place was empty, just because it was right after the lunch rush, and inbetween the dinner crowd, so it was perfect, the service was nice, and the food came pretty fast.

The Roast Duck came on a brownish serving platter with a spoon to scoop the sauce, and a fork, and a couple of white plates. James says this about the Roast Duck.

JAMES: It's very good, not too greasy, not too crispy, the sauce taste like a sweet vinegar.

James did not order any rice with it, but he said if he had, it would have been a good compliment to the duck's flavor, if you were at the shoot you'd see how much James really enjoyed the duck.

JAMES: The last time I had really, really good duck was about 5 years ago in Honolulu, and everyone in the islands knows, if you want awesome Chinese Style Roast Duck, you can't go wrong in Honolulu. Although I did eat roast duck after that, I'm just saying, the last time I really had good duck was in Honolulu.

Does James think Fu Lin's is good to visit, after all he is a true foodie, my man James can eat, like all us local boys.

JAMES: This place is nice, the atmosphere is real low key, I'll give this place and the overall experience a 7.5 on a scale of 1-10 and 10 being excellent. The Duck I'd give it an 8 plus, it's really good, there were a couple of burnt parts but that's okay, it's roasted duck, it's bound to get some char.

Nice and juicy and crispy skin, perfect for a Roast Duck Chinese Style.

James is digging in to the duck, using mostly his fingers to pluck the chopped pieces of meat, which was dripping with juices and sauce, he is a determined eater, and he is serious folks, do not get in his way when James is eating.

JAMES: For the price, this is great, around 15.00 bucks for this, it could have fed another person.

James savors the moment, as only he can, a true man of food, a man that will never turn down a meal ever, James is the ultimate foodie people, look at the way he's just soaking in the experience, James is to food, like what Michael Jackson was to pop music, there's something about this man, he's a natural guys, a natural, he's gonna be a food star someday, and I'l be his coach.

JAMES: It was very good, I'd buy this again!

James is finishing off the plate, slowing down, but the big guy always finishes, he's definitely a first round draft pick on any foodie team, I've seen em come and go, but James is a special foodie, he finishes, just like Jordan at crunch time, just like Tiger at Augusta before he got into those trips with those skanks, James is the ultimate, yes, he's a first rounder come draft day.

JAMES: The views of the beach is beautiful if you get to sit on the Lanai.

James is slowing down, but he will FINISH!

Two more pieces to go! C'mon James you can do it!

With the exception of a few bones, he did finish. Folks, watch out for that name. James Kudlich, he's coming to a restaurant near you, and if you have the chance to watch him eat it is a thing of beauty. He eats his food with passion, with desire, with respect for the food.

Fu Lin Chinese Restaurant uses no MSG.
Open 7 Days a week. 1030am to 1000pm. 1321 Front Street, Lahaina. 808-661-7071

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

MAUI- Why Stainless Steel Fry Pans or Skillets?

For the home chef Stainless Steel can work well, why? Being in pro kitchens most of my life, working with stainless steel pots or pans is great to make awesome sauces and gravies. For the  uninitiated cook, having stainless steel pots and pans without the nonstick surface is a must have. Nonstick pans and pots are great for healthy cooking, or sauteing fish so it won't get mangled, it will just slide.

But when working with certain cuts of beef such as a rib eye steak, or a nice boneless pork chop, having the meat stick to the pan is ideal, you must understand that when the meat sears on to the pan surface, the flavors are stuck on the pan, and this area will house all of the flavors. Chef's will remove the meat when done, set it aside and let it rest, when meat rests, it continues to cook for a few minutes, that is why we experts will take off the meat a few minutes possibly one or two before it is done as it will continue to cook.

Then the pan is put back on the burner with the pieces of bits from the meat which is the flavors, and then we'll put some minced shallots in their and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon or steel ladle or what ever is near by, and start to stir up the flavors, and then we'll add in some wine or broth or a combination of both to deglaze the pan, and reduce the liquid into a sauce, finishing it off with a tablespoon of cold butter to add some gloss to it. And then dressing the meat with this reduced sauce and season it with a tad of salt and pepper.

Stainless steel also is great if you will be cooking with vinegar or acids, such as lemons or limes, the surface will be protected from discoloration and having metallic flavors come into your foods.

Chinese chefs use cast iron woks that can rust, but usually the woks are well oiled, and cooking acids in woks generally works only if it is oiled really well. If you see rust, that's not a good sign. For a home cook playing chef, use non-reactive tools like stainless steel, and it's okay to use non-stick pans for healthy cooking, especially for eggs, and fish where you don't need lots of fatty oils to make it sear or to slide.

Hope we learned something today.
Ron: "Email me for any tips you home foodies may need."

Monday, May 9, 2011

MAUI- Amish Cinnamon Friendship Bread Recipe

Amish Cinnamon Friendship Bread by Jaime Navarro. This Amish bread is actually more like a  cake, a pound cake, very sweet, has some density to it, lots of body, hints of cinnamon, and lots of sugar. Well, according to Jaime the ultimate foodie, this bread needs a starter, like a sour dough, it has to start from the first day, and it is wrought into shape in 10 days, where upon you can divide the dough amongst some of your friends so that they can make this baked dish. So what are the ingredients and the process to making this? Okay slow down, here we go.

For the Starter: (Amish Cinnamon Bread Starter Recipe)

Starting from scratch, DO NOT USE A METAL BOWL OR UTENSILS. What I'd do is use a glass or plastic bowl, and use rubber utensils.

In a medium bowl, thoroughly dissolve 1 packet of active dry yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water 105-115 degrees F. Stir in 3/4 cup of warm milk, mix in 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour in a separate container. Gradually stir this into the yeast mixture. Pour the starter into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag. Count this as Day 1 of the Friendship Bread process.

* If you haven't purchased active dry yeast before, it is usually sold in the baking goods section in your market.

So here are the instructions because the starter will need 10 days to settle and you're going to have to work this starter, so it's not baking time yet folks.

Day 1- (Directions were at the top, you just did it, or will.) Leave it at room temperature do not put it in the icebox or freezer. Just let it be.
Day 2- Squeeze the bag  several times. (that's all)
Day 3- Squeeze the bag several times again. (that's all)
Day 4- Add 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of milk. Squeeze the bag. Just squeeze it and that's it.
Day 5- Squeeze the bag several times. (that's it)
Day 6- Add 1 cup of flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk. Squeeze bag.
Day 7- Squeeze bag several times. (that's it)
Day 8- Squeeze bag several times. (that's it)
Day 9- Squeeze bag several times. (that's it)
As you can gather, steps 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9 calls for you to just squeeze the bag several times, it kind of gets it going, make it alive!
Day 10- In a large non-metal bowl, combine batter with 1 cup each of flour, sugar, and milk. Mix with a wooden spoon. Pour four 1 cup starters into individual gallon Ziploc bags. Give away starters to friends with this set of directions. To the remaining batter add;

1 cup of canola oil
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 large box of instant vanilla pudding (make sure it is a large box and instant)
2 tsp. cinnamon

In a separate bowl, mix 1 tsp. cinnamon and 3 tbsp. sugar. Sprinkle into a well greased loaf pan(s) and coat the sides with sugar mixture. Do not use Pam or other non-stick spray. Bake for 1 hour or until done.

Jaime Navarro with starter in Ziploc bag
Photos: Ron Sambrano 2011
What would I eat this delicious bread with? I'd eat it with hot coffee, and not put any sweeteners in it because this bread or cake is just sweet to the max but excellent, not like a sweet Krispy Creme donut, but just a good kind of sweet if that makes sense. Oh yeah my foodies out there, this is a good cake... I'll call it a cake, it's more like a cake, sorry Jaime, it's a cake to me, but nontheless, this Amish Cinnamon Friendship Bread is called friendship because the starter grows into a monster because of the yeast, and it gets so huge you share it with... your friends, get it? Jaime had to explain that to me, I'm kinda slow upstairs. So try this out and email me and tell me how it turned out. Ron